I was at Romano’s Market Saturday and Josh was telling me that yet another expose has been driving business to the butcher shop:

An exposé by station WCVB in Boston reveals that the steaks we buy in supermarkets and restaurants aren’t necessarily all they’re cracked up to be. Which is not to say they aren’t “cracked up.”

According to cattle rancher Nigel Tudor, the expensive “fillet steaks” sold in many American food stores are actually made up of scraps of beef held together by the enzymetransglutaminase. Known in the industry as “meat glue,” this white powder is derived from the clotting agents in pigs’ and cows’ blood.

Now since you supposedly can’t taste the difference why worry? Oh I don’t know maybe this:

The U.S. federal government has ruled that meat glue is “generally recognized as safe,” but not all health experts are in agreement. Steve Steingart, of the Allegheny County Health Department in Pennsylvania, told WCVB that glued meat could pose a health risk if smaller pieces of meat that have been contaminated end up in the center of a steak served rare.

If you’ve see the words “formed” or “reformed” on a package at the store, you know it’s been “glued” but no such labeling is required at restaurants.

I’m reminded of the story my mother told me concerning the first restaurant the family opened. They kept an experienced waitress from the previous owner and was shocked to see her refilling beer bottles at closing to sell to patrons who have had a few late at night. On her way out permanently that night she turned to my mother remarking they would lose a lot of money.

Now consider, you are a restauranteur, all your costs are up, you are struggling to stay afloat and you have a product that allows you to turn stew meat into an filet that you can sell at a competitive price but tastes exactly the same as the expensive one and is completely legal and according to the government safe? What do you THINK they are going to do?

And as this video shows it’s not just steaks:

Hmmm those chicken nuggets and strips are looking a whole lot less appetizing aren’t they?

As I see it unless you want to raise your own meat or go vegetarian your choices are to cook all your food well done or go to Romano’s and watch Mike or his sons cut the stuff fresh.

I think that’s an easy choice.

Update: A thought: Would a restaurant even consider this type of thing if it wasn’t for the Obama Economy?

Here is a headline that might have caught you by surprise:

Why I want all our children to read the King James Bible

Yes you read that right, Dawkins is supporting an effort by England’s Education secretary to send free King James Bibles to every school for its 400th anniversary, but don’t get your hopes up, it’s not a question of respect for the Word, but respect for the words

Ecclesiastes, in the 1611 translation, is one of the glories of English literature (I’m told it’s pretty good in the original Hebrew, too). The whole King James Bible is littered with literary allusions, almost as many as Shakespeare (to quote that distinguished authority Anon, the trouble with Hamlet is it’s so full of clichées). In The God Delusion I have a section called “Religious education as a part of literary culture” in which I list 129 biblical phrases which any cultivated English speaker will instantly recognise and many use without knowing their provenance: the salt of the earth; go the extra mile; I wash my hands of it; filthy lucre; through a glass darkly; wolf in sheep’s clothing; hide your light under a bushel; no peace for the wicked; how are the mighty fallen.

A native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian.

As you might guess I’m not a huge fan of Richard Dawkins views on religion but Dawkins (like Chris Hitchens) is a well-educated man who got that education at a time before political correctness and identity politics turned education into a weapon. Dawkins continues in a less surprising vein:

European history, too, is incomprehensible without an understanding of the warring factions of Christianity and the book over whose subtleties of interpretation they were so ready to slaughter and torture each other.

Dawkins being Dawkins of course focuses only on wars over Christian Schisms, somehow William Wilburforce and the fight against the slave trade doesn’t make his cut but his general point is quite valid. One simply can’t understand Western Civilization without understanding the bible. Art, literature, History so much of western history is directly related to the Bible and its interpretation and to ignore it is to be willfully ignorant.

And Dawkins also has an ulterior motive:

Whatever else the Bible might be – and it really is a great work of literature – it is not a moral book and young people need to learn that important fact because they are very frequently told the opposite. The examples I have quoted are the tip of a very large and very nasty iceberg. Not a bad way to find out what’s in a book is to read it, so I say go to it.

BTW Dawkins for all my disagreement with him deserves respect for this argument, it would much easier to try to keep people away from scripture.

The guardian seems to believe that this isn’t going anywhere:

his support for Gove’s plan: opening the Bible is the surest way to put young minds off its contents. From this perspective, the Dawkins-Gove alliance looks dead before it started.

This is poppycock for two reasons:

1. For educational reasons alone the plan is justified for all the reasons above. Dawkins motivations are irrelevant to that purpose.

2. Christians if they have any faith should welcome Dawkins’ challenge for the young to read the bible. Inspired scripture has spoken to hundreds of millions for centuries, and any Christian worth his salt understands why in a way that Dawkins for all his education can’t comprehend.

So yes by all means let the young read the bible and let Dawkins make his best argument, I suspect it will not be a better one than the argument of the Holy Spirit.